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Stevens Point company Skyward celebrating multi-million dollar expansion

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STEVENS POINT (WITI) -- A Stevens Point company was ready to pack up and leave the state back in May, but now Skyward is celebrating an expansion.

Announcing a multi-million dollar expansion of his company, Skyward CEO Cliff King was overcome with emotion.

"This is one of the greatest days of my life," King said.

King spent the last two years, and many sleepless nights, trying to save his company and the hundreds of jobs it provides in Stevens Point.

"I'm going to try to go on. I truly believe the adversity we faced will make us stronger in the future," King said.

Skyward makes software that schools use to keep track of attendance, grades, medical records, and run cafeteria, among other things.

It's a competitive business, and there are a handful of other companies that do it.

Two years ago, the state Legislature decided it wanted to have only one company handle all the schools in Wisconsin, and wrote it into law via the 2011 budget.

Skyward lost the bid to a Minnesota company, under a highly questionable process.

"This caps off two long and stress filled years since our efforts began top reverse the state-mandated monopoly," Sen. Julie Lassa said.

Skyward employees and state lawmakers fought to reverse the decision, and eventually did in the 2013 budget signed by Gov. Scott Walker.

"The budget we're doing now, over and over again we're putting things in place to help businesses grow," Gov. Walker said.

Skyward will build a new $20 million headquarters in Stevens Point, and has a 10-year projection to add more than 500 employees.

"When I look at the jobs we're talking about here, it just excites me for our organization to be in a position where we can offer jobs like this that are high tech, high paying, family supporting jobs to the people of central Wisconsin," King said.

The company announced it will add 50 new jobs over the next year.

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